The Steep Hill of Suez
The cease-fire established, the tasks handed Hammarskjold and his aides were only beginning. He now became the Assembly's agent in negotiating the withdrawal of the Anglo- French-Israeli forces. At the same time he had to translate UNEF from blueprint to reality. And a few weeks after the cease-fire he took on the job, monumental in itself, of clearing the Suez Canal of the forty-eight ships, tugs, barges and two bridges which the Egyptians had sunk and scuttled into the 105-mile waterway.
The political tug of war over the UN's purposes in intervening in Suez was in the next few months to dominate the attention of the Assembly--whether its responsibility was simply to "vacate the aggression" or to ensure a more durable peace.
While the Assembly's debate focused around this central issue, the Secretariat under Hammarskjold's leadership discharged administrative and organizational responsibilities in a